Any one who reads this blog will know that I have had a nightmare winter with a badger digging up all my tulips that I had planted in the back garden borders.  Luckily I had decided not to spend too much on tulips for the back garden this year as I wanted to see how well the previous year’s tulips did.  Instead I bought mainly narcissus as well as some tulips for the front garden.  I must have known that the tulip crazed badger would be coming to visit.  Anyway, late in the bulb buying season when there wasn’t much left I decided to empty out the tin bath of the lavender plants that weren’t doing that well and fill it with tulips – I think I saw something similar on Gardeners World.  The only bulbs I could find were in the bargain bin at the local DIY store and so I ended up with two packets of mixed and a couple of packets of another variety, something like Angelique but possibly not.

I filled the bath with compost and grit to help with drainage and packed the bulbs in tightly, you can see how tightly in this earlier blog post.  I was a little worried about how tightly they were packed in but I needn’t have worried as, I think you will agree, the bath looks fab and I am really chuffed with it.  Especially as the badger didn’t discover the patio, he would have to go down some steps to access, it and so instead of a mass display in the garden I am satisfying my love of tulips with this display.


Although of course there are the front garden Tulipa Ballerina which have opened and have been a triumph in my humble view.  My son has persuaded me that I need to balance them with some more on the other side of the lawn and I think I might even go across the bottom as well – why not!!   I was worried that they would look a bit like a bedding scheme planted straight down the side of the lawn so I tried not to plant them too regimentally although it wasn’t that easy.


This is the view from the front door which I am really enjoying at the moment especially when the morning sun lights them up and they are damp from dew.  They are interplanted with some small headed alliums which hopefully will follow on with a similar effect but in purple – we shall have to wait and see.


19 Comments Add yours

  1. I love the way the Ballerina tulips lead the eye down to the birch, very engaging! Is that a Himalayan Birch?

  2. Jane Scorer says:

    Is there anything better in this world than a tulip ? They are my fave flower and gorgeous right now in the garden. The bargain Basement ones have done you proud !

  3. Helen your tulips are beautiful…I wish I had more spots to plant them where they would do well.

  4. Leslie says:

    The variety of tulip colors is just lovely. Such a true Spring show! What’s sometimes infuriating is that these serendipitous results sometimes outshine the ones we so carefully plan and linger over. “Flames” showing on front yard tulips are great. Thank you for show.

  5. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Goregous – I also hate regimentation – reminds me of all those Council 1950/60’s gardens. Christchurch is still way back there!

  6. Your ballerinas are a tour de force! Not sure what that means, but it’s good! In other words, very beautiful!

  7. I love the tin bath; it really turned out super. I really like the look of your containers together, congratulations on your creativity and the results.

  8. Gwen says:

    I used not lo like tulips very much, but two years ago I ‘fell in love’ with them. Your pics have confirmed my love. I’m away from home just now, but know my own bulbs in pots will be at the same stage as yours Helen, as I planted them late like you.

  9. Your tulips look stunning, especially the ones you’ve planted in the tin bath. I have a problem with the squirrels digging up all my bulbs, they do it every year, no matter where I plant them.

  10. Pauline says:

    They all look wonderful and its so good that they didn’t become badger fodder! I put mine in a tin bath this year too and they are doing fine, we have such wet clay, they don’t survive the winter in our soil. Love the colour of the ones in your front garden.

  11. Janneke says:

    Your tulip frontgarden looks fabulous and I like the colourmix in the bath. You have a wonderful springgarden!

  12. Anna says:

    A veritable tulip fest Helen. Those ‘Ballerinas’ are dancing away now. My tulip tin bath has still to show colour and I did not plant enough bulbs. Oh well there’s always next year.

  13. Skeeter says:

    They look great! I love the idea of the wash tub tulips. I may borrow that idea this fall….

  14. Claire says:

    Fabulous looking tulips and interesting that they were from the bargain bin. I grew tulip bulbs bought at a range of prices as an experiment this year and the cheap DIY store ones have done better than those that win medals at Chelsea…

  15. Aren’t they beautiful? I am a strong believer in packing tulips in tightly as they make such a breathtaking display. Long may they flower!

  16. igardendaily says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Love the planter, love tulips! They are definitely a favorite of mine, even though you have to let the foliage die back. They are worth it!

  17. I can never quite decide whether I prefer tulips when they are massed in a single colour or when they are mixed, so your tulips give me the best of both worlds.

    My own tulips were eaten down to 4 inches by the deer when they first surfaced, but apparently after that snack buffet the deer lost interest and now my tulips are blooming happily (well, except for the ones that were planted too shallowly so the deer pulled the bulbs out when munching on the leaves). Oh, what joy!!!

    (And I love badgers for sentimental reasons but am secretly glad I don’t share my garden with them. The deer seem slightly easier to manage, somehow.)

  18. Rob says:

    Looks great. I did loads of tulips crammed into pots this year, but none in the ground which i wish I’d done. Next year!

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